McDonald Creek

Searching for Harlequins

Some animals can be seen all year round in Glacier National Park while other animals arrive or wake up in springtime and disappear in the fall. Others still shoe up for a very short time and are gone again. Such is the case for the Trillium and the Harlequin Duck. I went out to McDonald Creek on a sunny Spring day to find both of these and I got a nice dose of what I was looking for.

It was a perfect spring day and I knew that Harlequin Ducks had arrived back at McDonald Creek and my schedule was going to be too crazy to be able to get to see them soon, so I made a call to head on up for a quick hike and see what I could see. I had also seen some Trillium flowers just starting to bloom and figured I could get both.

I parked by the footbridge over McDonald Creek by Sacred Cascade, walked across the bridge and started heading upstream. I started seeing Trilliums, took pictures and kept walking. Not far down the trail I started seeing Harlequin Ducks and ended up seeing three pairs and watched them for about half an hour and then headed back to work.

As a bonus, I got to see a Red-necked Grebe catching a fish on McDonald Lake.

Searching for Harlequins
Red-necked Grebe

Get our sweet newsletter!

(and your free “10 Insider Tips for Glacier”)



2 responses to “Searching for Harlequins”

  1. Debra Franciosi Avatar
    Debra Franciosi

    We went to the right place last year and missed them. Is there a better time of day to see them, or is it just a matter of luck?

    1. I’m not super sure. I saw them late morning/lunch time. It looks like some others have had the same experience, but it’s wildlife. 😉 I would plan on hiking the trail and keep your eyes peeled and go up and take your time and come back! Either way, the flowers will be great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.